The Christian Anchorites and monks settled in the area of Cappadocia, occupying the Göreme valley. It was probably these people who first realized the possibilities offered by The soft rock; they were trying to make themselves as inconspicuous as possible in their religious zeal, ft was a matter of life and death at the hands of the Romans and, later, the Byzantines. The ancient name of Göreme is Korama, and it was here that Salrtt Hieronymus, a Christian vine grower, found refuge during a chase in a cave that had been dug out of rock. His pursuers, however, found the unfortunate fellow, dragged him out, and he was thus martyred. The monastic tradition that quickly grew up around this area Is due to the influence of the Bishop of Caesarea, or Turkish Kayseri. This was Saint Basil, who lived during the 4th century and travelled throughout Greece and Egypt. His travels led him to believe that the life of a monk, many of which he had spoken with, especially In the deserts of Egypt, was the holiest of all ways of life. The Göreme region of Cappadocia was the closest thing he could find near his own area to a desert, so he started bringing hermits into the valley. The hermitages of Göreme became monasteries over the years, and during the period from the 7th to the 13th century, many of the churches seen in Göreme were made. These were painted with religious scenes that have come to reveal an important aspect of religious art of this period. The best preserved wall paintings date from the 9th century and later because before this time many of them were destroyed and mutilated by Invading Arabs and Asian peoples. During the Turkish periods, the monastic life in the region decreased in numbers of adherents, but monks still were living there until 1922.

Churches Of Göreme : The churches found in Göreme that have been carved out of the volcanic tuff rock formations and decorated with vivid frescoes should be your first priority In visiting Cappadocia…>>

Sites Of Avcilar And Avanos : Avcılar is what used to be the See of Matyane; it is now a picturesque troglodyte village with family dwellings built right Into the rock formations…>>

Underground Cities : The spectacular subterranean city of Kaymaklı is a must for the visitor to Cappadocia, This is located a short distance to the south of Nevşehir and was cut out of the volcanic tuff during the period from the 6th to the 10th centuries A.D. Dwellings such as this are known to have existed in this region as early as the 5th century B.C. The ancient writer Xenophon referred to them In his Anabasis…>>

Other Points Of Interest : Nevşehir Is the principal town of the area, and it is rather typical of the others with its houses of the local stone. An attrqction here Is the Seljuk castle that was reinforced during the period of the Ottomans…>>

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